Dress Up Your Door with Colorful Containers

Brighten an entry with colorful pots that prove three's company, not a crowd.

Earthy Pink Planters
Container Recipe 1. 'Caliente Dark Rose' geranium 2. 'Fireworks' pennisetum 3. 'Sweet Georgia Heart Red' sweet potato vine 4. 'Easy Wave Pink' petunias 5. 'AngelMist Spreading Pink' angelonia
Photo: Melina Hammer

Admit it—you find yourself stalking certain houses because you love their eye-catching doorways decked out with the ideal combination of flowers, colors, and pots. If you want the same statement-making touches for your own entrance this spring but don't know where to begin, let us show you the way! We created three different looks based on a trio of color palettes: natural (brown-stained door), warm (yellow door), and cool (blue door). To keep it simple, we filled planters that were selected to complement each door and home with the same formula of easy-care plants: heat-tolerant geraniums, graceful grasses, sweet potato vines, and other trailing or spreading flowers. The textures of these plants work beautifully together in any combo. Let your door be the guide, and use its hue to inspire your own selections. Whether your look is modern or traditional, coordinated pots are the perfect way to say welcome.

Choose a Palette
Start by shopping for flowers and plants in colors that enhance the exterior of your home. Soft, light shades can feel feminine and romantic, while bright primary colors shout welcome in a cheerful way. Nature-inspired shades, such as green and brown, are best used as fillers and to help brighter colors pop. If you're a traditionalist, try a classic combination such as red and white. If you prefer a more modern look, use a simple, monochromatic scheme.

Select the Plants
Be sure to choose flowers and foliage that have the same light, moisture, and temperature needs. Combine annuals and perennials of different textures, heights, forms, and bloom types for the most visual appeal. Practice the "thriller, filler, and spiller" formula: Plant tall, high-drama plants in the back or center; then add mounding plants for fullness; and finally allow trailers to spill over the side and soften the edges.

Place Your Pots
Group containers in odd numbers for maximum impact. Using three pots in various sizes is most pleasing to the eye. When selecting sizes, think of each pot as either the "Papa Bear," "Mama Bear," or "Baby Bear." They don't have to match exactly but should be in the same family of materials and styles. Above all, pick ones that are practical and pretty. Resin pots are lightweight and long-lasting and can mimic heavier, more substantial ones of concrete, terra-cotta, or stone. Larger versions require less watering and allow for a showier display.

Tips For Top Pots
How to keep plants happy and healthy

Use a quality potting mix that is specially blended for containers. Add a slow-release food such as Osmocote, and consider adding moisture crystals so you don't have to water as often.

Get instant lushness by packing more plants into your containers than you would in the garden. Plants sold in 4-inch or larger pots with more-developed root systems can tolerate crowded conditions better than plants sold in cell packs.

Deadhead any spent blooms, removing tired and brown leaves, to maintain the beauty of your containers. Water and feed plants on a regular schedule. If necessary, rotate planters to make sure they look good from all sides.